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What is anabolic resistance

As we get older things start to change. Your energy may drop, you may gain a few pounds, you may not gain or build muscle as quickly, and your metabolism will generally slow. One of these changes is called anabolic resistance. Largely due to hormonal changes, anabolic resistance is defined by an attenuated stimulation of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) rates to common anabolic stimuli in skeletal muscle tissue such as dietary protein ingestion and exercise. Your body literally resists building muscle tissue. So what can you do to combat anabolic resistance and defy the aging process to continue building more muscle and the body composition you want? We’re going to talk about what anabolic resistance is, how it works, and some strategies to help you ride the gain train.

Anabolic resistance is defined as the thwarted stimulation of muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is initiated by increasing physical activity and by consuming protein and/or supplementing with amino acids. Muscle protein synthesis is the biological process responsible for the formation of new protein cells. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to gain more muscle mass. With age, muscle protein breakdown becomes less responsive to exercise and protein intake, underpinning the loss in the quantity and quality of skeletal muscle mass, leading to a decline in exercise capacity over time.

As you age, your body becomes less responsive to these anabolic stimuli. Healthy people who exercise and consume an adequate amount of protein will maintain relatively the same amount of skeletal muscle throughout their lives. Preservation of muscle mass is achieved with a positive net protein balance between muscle protein synthesis (MPS) rates and muscle protein breakdown (MPB) rates.

Muscle protein loss can occur from either increased MPB or less-responsive MPS rates, or a combination of both. However, the main culprit in anabolic resistance is desensitization to protein consumption and resistance training or exercise. So how do you delay the onset of anabolic resistance and normalize MPS levels?

Consuming isolated protein stimulates MPS and increases your pool of amino acids that can be used in building new protein cells [R].

Studies suggest that resistance training, also known as weightlifting, helps initiate muscle protein synthesis. However, cardio training will not produce the same response or effect [R]. The rate of amino acid absorption in isolated proteins has been shown to initiate muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than other protein types [R]which claims that protein supplements such as whey protein isolate help induce major anabolic changes and decrease anabolic resistance.

At the molecular level, protein is made up of essential amino acids (EAAs). A large body of evidence has shown that EAA supplementation is very beneficial in older adults.

Anabolic resistance can be partially improved with supplemental leucine and EAAs, as research shows that older adults require twice as much leucine as younger adults for similar activation of MPS [R].

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted at Baylor University, 30 elderly patients received BCAAs, leucine, or placebo. The supplements were taken in three equal doses before, immediately before, and after resistance training. Results showed that both leucine and BCAA supplementation resulted in higher levels of phosphorylated 4E-BP1 and cellular signaling of the mTOR pathway, a serine/threonine kinase that stimulates protein synthesis through amino acid activation [R].

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Other studies have shown that EAA supplementation improves physical function in addition to maintaining muscle mass in older adults who may be less physically active [R]. Muscular atrophy with age can lead to deficits in strength, balance, and coordination, leading to a suboptimal quality of life. Supplementing with protein and/or EAAs may help induce major changes in muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle protein breakdown in the event of anabolic resistance.

As we age, we experience a phenomenon called anabolic resistance. At this point, the cells become more resistant to the switch being flipped for muscle protein synthesis. Anabolic resistance can be improved by protein and amino acid intake and resistance training. It is important to be physically active as you age to maintain muscle mass, functional strength and balance. Exercise and nutritional intervention are important to maintain quality of life and physical and mental health.

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Disclaimer: We do not claim nor take any responsibility for the information and information provided in the article. Consult your doctor before apply on your body any provided advice here mentioned in the above article.

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